Minutes 19th April 2022


Present:  Margaret Minhinnick (President), Alun Edwards (Hon Treasurer), Ellen Jones (Vice-President),

John Berry, Peter Fenton, Gemma Lewis, Jonathan Hurley, Bridget Hall (Minutes)

1 Welcome

Margaret welcomed members to the meeting.  Margaret mentioned that Ellen would be standing as Councillor for East Central and Newton wards in the forthcoming Council elections.  Members wished Ellen the best of luck.

2 Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence had been received from Cllr Tracy Hill and David Swidenbank.

3 To approve the minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the last meeting were approved.  

4 Matters arising

i) AGM – Election of Officers

Ellen asked for an outline of the roles and responsibilities involved with the various Chamber Officer posts, in particular referring to her election as Vice-President.

Alun said that the Officers are elected to help the run Chamber businesses.  The role of the Vice-President would be to chair meetings in the absence of the President, also shadowing the President with the intention of becoming the President in the following year.  Alun added that Officers could give as much or as little time as they had available, with the President delegating responsibilities.

Peter said to be eligible for membership, members should have their own business.  

Ellen questioned whether she would need to resign as VP, were she to be elected as Councillor.  Alun said there would be no need for that, unless there was a conflict of interest.  Bridget made the point that previous Presidents who were also Councillors, such as Les Tallon-Morris and Robert Lee, had been excellent Presidents and felt that the Chamber has actually benefitted from their dual commitments to the Chamber and Town Council.

Gemma referred to Bridget’s suggestion of her being co-opted as an Executive member.  Gemma was further reassured there would be no pressing demand on her time, and it was reiterated that she could give as much time as she had available.  On this basis, Gemma agreed to be a co-opted Executive member.  

5  Finance

Alun gave a verbal account of bank balances.  There were no issues raised.

Elen asked about equipment owned by the Chamber and suggested setting up a loan system for the equipment. Alun referred to some of the items which he held in his storeroom, including a marquee, giant deck chairs, stocks, snow machine, banners, projector & screen (on loan to the Y-Centre), laptop.  Bridget said she had an inventory of equipment and would have copies of this ready for the next meeting.

A discussion ensued regarding the possible problems with loaning the equipment and it was agreed to revisit this at a future meeting.

6 Correspondence

i) Past Presidents’ chain of office

Bridget said that Peter Fenton had emailed Bridget regarding the Past Presidents’ chain of office.  Peter explained that Whittingham’s in Well Street previously held the chain of office with 50 names of past Presidents dating back from 1946.  With the closure of Whittingham’s, Peter said he had approached the Museum and they were very interested in displaying the chain of office, which would be displayed in a glass case, on a loan basis.   Members thought this was a good suggestion and agreed to the proposal.  

Peter went on to say that the Chamber was at least 100 years old, with reference being made to it in a town guidebook published in 1905.

7 Talk of the Town  

i) Green Top Markets

Margaret said that Sarah Murphy MS had asked to meet her to discuss complaints she had received regarding the markets in the town.  Margaret asked for members’ opinions on the markets.

Gemma thought the products could be more artisan; John thought there were too many stalls; Margaret and Alun both thought it was good for the town.   Bridget added that she had only actually received two complaints from members, which she had passed on to Andrew Highway who had visited the shops concerned and she believed had resolved the issues.

ii) Snoopy

Margaret said this was something new and a good idea for children and visitors to the town. 

8 Regeneration

A discussion ensued regarding the regeneration plans for Porthcawl, and a number of views were expressed on what should be included in the plans.  Margaret suggested holding a meeting in the Green Room to discuss the plans.  John made the point that Hillsboro Place had not been informed of any plans for redevelopment of that area and suggested referring to Huw David for discussion, whom he found very open and helpful.

Ellen asked if the Chamber had an environmental policy.  

Alun said there was nothing established but members suggested putting a page on the website with an outline policy.  It was agreed that a Sub-Committee would be set up to put together a policy and Margaret, Ellen and Gemma were duly elected for this.  

Alun said that such a policy would then be available for members, should they ask for guidance.  Alun referred to the previous plastic bag campaign that the Chamber was supporting but not progressed.  

Bridget said that previous President, Michelle, was speaking to our Chamber counterparts in Barry who were taking the lead on this, but nothing was ever progressed in Porthcawl.  

Gemma left the meeting

iii) Footfall

Alun referred to footfall cameras in the town and his involvement some years ago with location of the cameras to maximise the best record.  Alun also referred to the display screens that had been planned for the town.  Bridget said that Stuart Bentley had taken this project to the PTC and would ask him what the outcome was.    

iv) Planters for Hillsboro Place

Margaret referred to the planters for Hillsboro Place which had now been completed.  Members commented on how attractive they looked.  Alun asked who was paying for the materials and, after discussion. Alun asked if there were costs, Margaret mentioned the plastic, liner, peat-free compost, watering can, screws etc, it was agreed that the Chamber would reimburse SUSSED and their volunteers £100 for this outlay.  

Margaret mentioned that SUSSED was having the building repainted, costing £2,500 and said any donations would be gratefully received.

v) Jubilee plans

Bridget said that Cllr Mary Emment Lewis had offered a Jubilee cake to the Chamber.  Margaret said the Chamber would be pleased to receive this.  

Bridget confirmed that PCT would be running a Jubilee Window Competition and that PTC would kindly donate the prizemoney, as follows: 

1st prize  £100; 2nd prize £50; 3rd prize £25; Community prize £25

9 Website

Members reviewed the website and congratulated Jon on his work.  In view of Jon’s ongoing demands with the website, Alun suggested paying Jon £200 per year for its management and hosting.  This was agreed by members.   

10 Any other business

Bridget had left the meeting.

The meeting was brought to a close.